A History of the Governor Alvin Saunders Estate in North Omaha

The fine Second Italianate Renaissance Style home built by Nebraska Territory governor Alvin Saunders was located in North Omaha at 1510 Sherman Avenue / 2008 North 16th Street. Learn more about it in this article.

The History of An Unsolved Murder in North Omaha

Adam’s note: I’m a little hesitant to share this story, but I’m going to. Bad things happen in communities, and this story is part of North Omaha’s history. I’ve removed family names out of respect for the families involved. In September 1909, an 11-year-old African American boy named Othello was murdered in North Omaha. In […]

A History of Lead Poisoning in North Omaha

For more than 15 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been fighting lead poisoning in North Omaha as part of a citywide environmental cleanup focused on the 27-square-miles east of 72nd Street.

A History of Cemeteries in North Omaha

Did you know that North Omaha has at least eight historic cemeteries? Serving religious and ethnic populations as well as the general public, these are the final resting places of thousands of people from the 1840s through today.

A History of the Omaha Star

More than 65 years ago, a newspaper was launched to serve Omaha’s African American community. Coming from a legacy of several Black newspapers before it, the paper was launched by the visionary Mildred Brown and her husband Ed Gilbert. Losing its direct competitors within a decade, The Omaha Star became the city’s Civil Rights media champion, refusing to print negative news and constantly focusing on keeping it positive. The original banner was “Joy and Happiness”, and the only told good news.

A History of North Omaha’s Pries Lake

Here’s Pries Lake from a 1910s postcard.  The hills around North Omaha’s Florence neighborhood have kept their share of wealthy country homes, fancy gentlemen’s farms and old settlements hidden since the 1840s. However, one of the most popular places that ever existed in the area was a picnic resort that’s completely forgotten today. Its not […]

A History of the Bailey Residence in North Omaha

Built: 1875 estimated Address: 1504 North 19th Street Architecture: Eastlake Style Demolished: 1900 estimated When Omaha was first starting up in the 1850s and 1860s, it was built with wood. Wood-frame stores, hotels, homes and boarding houses were all over. There were some soddies, too. One of the first people to help the city move […]

A Biography of Nebraska Territorial Governor Thomas B. Cuming by Ryan Roenfeld

One of North Omaha’s landmark roadways that has always intrigued me is Cuming Street. My dad used to take my brother and I to Canfield’s, where we’d comb the aisles for what seemed like hours. Creighton University seemed like a foreign land, but in high school I discovered Bemis Park and began lulling in the […]

A History of the Town of East Omaha

The original town of East Omaha was south of the present-day Eppley Airport, west of Abbott Drive, and north of the river. It was known known as East Omaha and was claimed by Edmond Jeffries in 1853. That was a year before the so-called Indian Territory was opened to white settlement and a year before Omaha City was founded. The next year, it became Omaha’s first annexation, brought into the city in 1854.

A History of Churches in North Omaha

In its first 75 years, North Omaha was home to no fewer than four Jewish synagogues, six Catholic parishes and 50 Protestant congregations. These churches reflected the community’s diversity, including ethnic churches where only Italian, German, Norwegian, Danish and other languages were spoke. Within 25 years of Omaha’s founding, there were also several Black churches in the neighborhood north of downtown. Following is a history of churches in North Omaha.

A Biography of North Omaha’s Dr. Marguerita Washington

This story begins with the death. On November 2nd, 1989, Mildred Brown passed away. Easily the mother of North Omaha pride, Mildred co-founded The Omaha Star in the late 1930s and ran it by herself for almost 50 years. She promoted the community mercilessly, building pride, power and purpose through her paper, and her death was a massive loss to everyone in North Omaha, especially the African American community.

A History of St. Clare’s Monastery in North Omaha

This is the original Poor Clares Monastery built in 1904. It still stands at N. 29th and Hamilton Streets.   Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle is a spectacularly beautiful, formerly consecrated rental facility that few people in the entire city know about. For more than a century there was a monastery […]

A History of the John E. Reagan House in North Omaha

With the old country ties in mind, one lawyer in Omaha took it upon himself to bring some fellow Irishmen back to Omaha to stump for “Cowboy” Jim Dahlman, Omaha’s corrupt longtime mayor who was controlled by local boss Tom Dennison. Did his tireless campaigning get him a seat in the Nebraska State Legislature? Was there dirty money involved in building his palatial home?

A History of Jim Bell’s Club Harlem In North Omaha

The horns blared out the doors, crowds of Black and white jazz fans waited impatiently to cram in, and bunches of kids stood around the back door trying to get a listen. On any given Friday and Saturday night through the late 1950s, Jim Bell’s Club Harlem was one of the very best places to […]

A History of North Omaha’s Storz Brewery

Before Gottlieb Storz, a few other entrepreneurs tried their hand at brewing beer in North Omaha. Afterwards though, Storz dominated. For more than 75 years, his family ran Omaha’s beer industry, and even though the brewery closed in the 1970s, it left a major mark on the city that still stands today. This is a […]

A Timeline of Race and Racism in North Omaha

On October 24, 1889, the Omaha Daily World reported that G.S. Kennedy, an African American mechanic who frequented the bar at the Paxton Hotel, was “somewhat indignant” for being charged a higher price than usual because, as the bartender said, he was Black. My review of other articles from early Omaha shows wasn’t Kennedy’s experience wasn’t exception in […]

A History of the Near North Side Neighborhood in North Omaha

As far as I’m concerned, the history of Omaha’s Near North Side neighborhood is the richest in all of Omaha. It has been home to working class families, poor people, and the wealthy; northern Europeans, African Americans, and eastern Europeans; Lutherans and Catholics, Jews and Black Muslims; slums, family homes, and mansions; looked like a pioneer town, had country gentleman farms, been a suburb, and had slums; professional offices, warehouses, manufacturing plants, local storefronts, printing presses, training centers, supermarkets and pop-up shops; giant churches and synagogues, and tiny storefront temples and more. So much has happened here, and clearly its story is still being written…

A History of the 1899 Greater America Exposition in North Omaha

OMAHANS HAVE BEEN MISINFORMED!   We like history. We want to be proud of the past. Sometimes, in order to be proud, we intentionally forget, ignore, or otherwise let go of the parts of the past that we’re not proud of. For years, the people of Omaha have been told that all of the buildings […]

A History of Fort Omaha

 Nestled between the Miller Park neighborhood and Sorenson Parkway is a 150 year old institution that’s been a powerhouse, a prison, a balloon school and a neglected surplus, and many other things. This is a short history of Fort Omaha. A group of officers at Fort Omaha in 1918. My Story As a whole, Fort […]

A History of the River Drive in Omaha

An Art Deco tree taken from the 1919 report where the majority of this article was drawn from. Imagine a smooth, easy drive on a Saturday afternoon in the fall all of it weaving along nineteen miles of the city’s waterfront. There are long, calm curves and tall, stately oaks lining the boulevard, with walkers […]

A History of the Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary in North Omaha

The Presbyterians were one of the congregations that grew along with Omaha. Arriving soon after the city’s founders, the first Presbyterian church in Omaha was opened in 1856. Over the next 25 years, more than 100 Presbyterian churches were founded in towns and cities across Nebraska. Their buildings became institutions for the faithful, for their communities and for the culture of the state. However, educating enough pastors to lead these flocks was becoming a challenge.

A History of the Viking Ship in North Omaha

Suburbs need social clubs, and social clubs need swingin’ good fun! North Omaha’s Viking Ship was that place for more than 50 years before turning into a quasi-community center. Here’s the history of the Viking Ship, aka Birchwood Club aka The Prettiest Mile Club.     Introduction   2582 Redick Avenue through the years: 1916 […]

Native Americans in North Omaha

Native Americans are not gone, and neither is their culture. This article is not intended to mythologize, romanticize, or historicize American Indians of any kind in any way. Instead, its a simple summary of what white people have found about the Native Americans who lived in the area we know today as North Omaha.

A History of Hospitals in North Omaha

Today, North Omaha is a medical desert. With more than 40,000 residents in its boundaries, there is a stark absence of medical service providers of all kinds. Making it worse, the community is greatly underinsured. That leaves people who have no insurance and no money needing to travel to other parts of the city to get care. However, that hasn’t always been the case. There have been more than ten hospitals in North Omaha throughout its 150+ year history.

A History of the North Omaha Riots

Because of when the riots happened and what they did, there are scars on North O that that haven’t healed almost 50 years later. Here’s a history of what happened.

A History of North Omaha, Part 1

Almost a thousand years ago early American Indians roamed the thick woodlands the lined the Missouri River bottoms in East Omaha. There were fishing ponds and hideaways, both excellent for keeping the small western villages of the Woodlands culture that dotted the area. On the plateau above the river was a prairie that looked more […]

A History of North Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery

There are places in Omaha where ghosts, legends and history come alive. With mysterious burial sites, whispy hauntings and grand memorial trees, the pioneer graveyard called Prospect Hill Cemetery may be the most haunted of all. Read on to learn more…